It is not surprising when I recommend a particular book in this column. We are the “People of the Book” and I am a confirmed biblioholic.
Nothing is more stress-relieving for me than to walk through a bookstore or even browse through Amazon. Reading and learning have kept us alive as a people. But, now there is a new phenomenon that has been called the latest “literary” craze — adult coloring books! Here are comments from Money, online magazine:
“Coloring books: They’re not just for kids anymore. That’s the word from The Boston Globe, which reports that coloring books for adults are flying off store shelves. Why are grownups buying up a genre generally targeted at younger children? The answer seems to be that coloring between the lines can be a therapeutic exercise.
“‘I think it probably speaks to people’s enjoyment in doing this kind of relaxing hobby or distraction from everyday life,’ Sarah Deaver, president of the American Art Therapy Association, told the Globe. ‘It creates an object of focus, and it creates something that’s beautiful and that’s satisfying.’”
So, are coloring books Jewish? Yes, if you buy ones with Jewish pictures and here are my recommendations (available from Amazon):
Shalom Coloring — Jewish Designs for Contemplation and Calm: I particularly like this one because in addition to the coloring pages, each facing page has a quote to think about while you are coloring.
Judaica — Jewish Coloring Book for Grown-Ups and Star of David — Jewish Coloring Book also give a page for your own reflecting should you desire.
It is definitely OK to color outside the lines — coloring should be stress-free. To add a blessing to the experience, try this blessing for when you see a rainbow: Baruch atah Ado-nai Elo-haynu melech ha’olam zocher ha’berit ve’ne’eman bivrito vekayam be’ma’amaro. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who remembers the covenant and is faithful in keeping promises. The blessing for a rainbow reminds us, not of the beauty of the rainbow but of God’s promise to keep not destroy the earth again by flood.
Enjoy bringing color to your world through a little art (free art is best but there are many of us who like the lines).
Shalom…from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas.